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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 19-Nov-2011
19-Nov-11 World View -- Financial crisis deadlocks in Berlin and Washington

Web Log - November, 2011

19-Nov-11 World View -- Financial crisis deadlocks in Berlin and Washington

China and U.S. set to face off over South China Sea

This morning's key headlines from

* Britain's Cameron and Germany's Merkel agree on nothing
* Ireland worries, 'Germany is our new master'
* Washington Super Committee appears close to failure
* Syria claims to accept Arab League plan 'in principle'
* Britain in secret talks with Syria's opposition movement
* China and U.S. set to face off over South China Sea
* Concerns over rising settler 'price tagging' violence in the West Bank

Britain's Cameron and Germany's Merkel agree on nothing

Irish Daily Mirror, November 18, 2011
Irish Daily Mirror, November 18, 2011

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron traveled to Berlin on Friday to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to solve the euro crisis. Britain is not a eurozone country, but Cameron doesn't want the euro countries making decisions without him, and Merkel wants the UK to contribute large sums to the eurozone for bailout purposes. They were all smiles and jokes on Friday, but they agreed on nothing. Here are the major areas of disagreement:

The next major deadline for the euro zone is December 9, when there will be a new European Summit. At that time, a final decision will have to be made whether to give Greece the next 8 billion bailout payment, and whether to take any other steps to try to stem the deterioration of Europe, which appears to worsen every day. According to the "Kick the Can Theory," we can expect the Greek payout to be approved, and little else. Guardian

Ireland worries, 'Germany is our new master'

Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan has admitted that he provided details of Ireland's proposed new budget to the German parliament prior to releasing them to the Irish parliament. This has caused a huge firestorm in Ireland. But new German laws give its parliament the right to be fully informed about bailout countries' progress before new tranches of funds are paid out and Ireland's main opposition party led cries Germany was now calling the shots in Europe, saying, "Germany is our new master." Reuters

Washington Super Committee appears close to failure

Stories being leaked out of negotiations of the Congressional Super Committee indicate that it's deadlocked, and that the sequestration option will come into play after Wednesday's deadline has passed. In the 1980s, when the Silents were in charge, it was possible for Democrats and Republicans to get together and agree on measures to save social security and reduce the deficit. However, no such agreements are possible today in Washington's Gen-X/Boomer culture of fraud and extortion. According to the "Kick the Can Theory," the Super Committee will do nothing, and will leave it to next year's Congress to repeal the sequestration provisions. CS Monitor

Syria claims to accept Arab League plan 'in principle'

Wednesday's Arab League meeting imposed a new deadline on Syria. The Bashar al-Assad regime was given until Saturday to agree to allow Arab League observers into the country to verify whether the regime is still slaughtering civilians. The Syrians say that they've accepted the plan "in principle," but Arab League demanded approval for 500 observers, while Syria is willing to approve only about 40. The Arab League says that it's "studying" the Syrian counter proposal, but Syria has very little credibility left, if any. International opinion has been increasingly turning against Syria, with harsh statements by leaders in Turkey, France and Britain. However, politicians in other countries, particularly Russia, China and Israel, are pointing out that the fall of Assad might lead to chaos that would be much worse than the current situation. CNN

Britain in secret talks with Syria's opposition movement

Senior British officials are meeting with members of the Syria's opposition groups, including the Syrian National Council and the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change, to talk about the rebels eventually supplanting the Assad regime, and being recognized as Syria's government. This appears to be similar to what happened in Libya, but it's not according to British officials. "This is not about recognition of them as the government that is not the case. The difference with the Libyan situation was that the Libyan National Transitional Council controlled swathes of the country. We are asking the Syrian opposition to present a coherent set of policies and organize themselves." The British, French and Turks are planning to bring the Syria matter to the U.N. Security Council. Independent

China and U.S. set to face off over South China Sea

South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory
South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory

The United States and China are set to face off on Saturday at the East Asia Summit over China's claims to enormous regions of the South China Sea as its own sovereign territory. This includes the Spratly and Paracel Islands and other areas that have long been considered sovereign territory of other nations, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The U.S. does not take sides in any of the individual disputes, but insists that the South China Sea must remain freely open for commercial and military ship traffic, something that China also opposes. China wants to resolve these issues in a "bilateral" fashion, meaning that it would negotiate with each country separately, with no interference from the U.S. But the U.S. and the east Asian nations want to negotiate in a "multilateral" fashion, meaning that China has to negotiate with all of them as a group. Relations between the U.S. and China have been growing more and more tense, because of China's increasingly aggressive claims to the South China Sea, and they took an additional leap forward in tension this week, when President Obama announced that some U.S. armed forces will be stationed in Australia with the specific purpose of countering China's aggressive military buildup. Reuters

Concerns over rising settler 'price tagging' violence in the West Bank

The United Nations says the number of attacks by extremist Jewish settlers on Palestinians resulting in either injury or damage to property has roughly tripled since 2009. So far in 2011 around 10,000 Palestinian-owned olive trees have been destroyed or damaged in attacks by settlers. The phrase "price tag" is frequently used by radical Israeli settlers to denote revenge attacks against Palestinians in response to moves by the Israeli government to evacuate illegal West Bank outposts, or as retribution for attacks by Palestinians. Typically price tagging happens after the Israeli authorities move to dismantle settler "outposts", small Jewish communities build on occupied Palestinian land which even the Israeli government regards as illegal. BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 19-Nov-11 World View -- Financial crisis deadlocks in Berlin and Washington thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (19-Nov-2011) Permanent Link
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